Lars Von Trier Wants to Turn All His Movies Into Diamonds

ANTWERP, Belgium — Enter, the diamond. A 12-carat white double diamond, crafted out of two raw stones, sat on a black plinth in a glass vitrine inside the center of a nearly empty white-walled space in an Antwerp museum.

Next to the idea, a museum visitor can be invited to wear a virtual reality helmet in addition to step inside an enlarged rendition of the same double diamond, in addition to to stand for a moment inside its silent, glittering core.

This particular can be “Melancholia: The Diamond,” a puzzling exhibition created by the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, which opened on Friday at the M HKA, the leading contemporary art museum in Antwerp, in addition to runs until May 5.

the idea was co-produced by Mr. von Trier’s longtime film producer Marianne Slot in addition to Leonid Ogarev, a Russian businessman, who said in which the idea brings together “the oldest material in which exists on Earth in addition to an absolutely brand new material,” virtual reality, which was “so young in which you don’t even know how the idea’s going to be used tomorrow.” Mr. Ogarev paid for the diamond, although he declined to say what the idea was worth.

The M HKA could not provide photographs of the diamond or allow a photographer coming from The Times to take any. A spokesman for the museum said in which Mr. von Trier insisted on This particular because “he wants people to come in addition to actually experience the idea themselves.”

Mr. von Trier said in a Skype interview coming from his home near Copenhagen in which the diamond, which carries a brilliant cut on one side although can be rough on the various other in addition to has the filmmaker’s initials “LvT” carved into the idea, serves as a metaphorical representation of his 2011 film “Melancholia.”

inside the movie, a young woman’s debilitating depression sabotages her wedding night, while a planet called Melancholia hurtles fatally toward Earth. The diamond seems to be a literal interpretation of the film’s apocalyptic denouement: two great stones collide to become one particular form.

Mr. von Trier was elusive when asked to explain how the diamond expresses the movie’s essence. “What I’m trying to do can be to capture the mood,” he said.

He said he intended to turn all 13 of the films he’s made so far into diamonds in addition to to present them at art institutions across the globe. Mr. von Trier chose to begin in Antwerp, he said, because of its centuries-long association with the diamond trade, in addition to because the city continues to be one of the entire world’s leading producers of cut diamonds.

The goal of the project, said Anders Kreuger, senior curator at M HKA, can be to transform one artistic medium into another: in This particular case, a film into a tiny sculpture made of precious stone. “He’s created an object of thought rather than an object of entertainment,” he said. “the idea makes me think about how you can reformulate reality coming from one form in addition to language into another.”

Mr. Von Trier, 62, who can be best known for “Breaking the Waves” (1996) in addition to “Dancer inside the Dark,” for which he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2000, can be frequently described as a provocateur of European cinema. His sprawling films such the two-part “Nymphomaniac” in addition to his latest, “The House in which Jack Built,” feature sadistic violence in addition to graphic sex.

This particular diamonds project can be a departure, in addition to Mr. von Trier admitted he wasn’t entirely sure how the idea fit into his career.

“the idea has been in a way a sideline, although you never know where life will take you,” he said. “When the idea commenced I thought the idea could take about two weeks to cut the diamond in addition to the idea could be interesting.” Instead, the idea took all 5 years to cut the stone by hand.

The director said he couldn’t travel to Antwerp for the opening, because of ill health in addition to a fear of flying (so severe in which he has had to make most of his films in Denmark or Sweden).

“Right today I am trying to get off of these pills to ensure in which I can drive again,” he said, explaining in which a brand new law in Denmark bars him coming from driving while taking certain prescription drugs. He said he was taking “Valium for anxiety, in addition to I’ve been struggling with This particular since I was seven years old, so the idea’s a struggle to get off of the idea.”

Mr. von Trier has been notoriously press shy in addition to somewhat reclusive for years, ever since what he called “an unfortunate press conference” meant to promote the Discharge of “Melancholia” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. He jokingly said “I’m a Nazi” in addition to added in which he had sympathy for Adolf Hitler.

The uproar led to his temporary banishment coming from Cannes; he was charged with defamation in French court, a charge in which carries a all 5-year prison sentence. The charges were subsequently dropped, in addition to he has returned to Cannes; in 2018, he received a standing ovation when he presented his film, “The House in which Jack Built.”

The fracas overshadowed in addition to soured the reception to “Melancholia,” he said, although the film did receive the Best Film prize at the European Film Awards. Did he choose “Melancholia” as the first for his diamond project to give the idea a second shot at the spotlight?

“Maybe on a subconscious level,” he said.

As for his comments about Hitler, Mr. von Trier said in which the idea was “a joke in which didn’t travel well;” he didn’t believe anyone could take him seriously, adding, “I’m not a Nazi.”

“the idea’s the only press conference I ever had when I was sober,” he said. “the idea says a lot about the value of drinking before press conferences, otherwise you get so nervous in which you suddenly say in which you sympathize with Hitler. I wouldn’t recommend the idea.”

One of the things about diamonds in which Mr. von Trier said first attracted him was Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel “Diamonds Are Forever,” in which a shopkeeper puts a sign inside the window with in which phrase, to attract buyers.

“Of course the idea’s not true,” Mr. von Trier points out. “Diamonds can burn at 800 degrees Celsius, in addition to I think they completely disappear because they’re made of pure carbon.”

For his next diamond, Mr. von Trier said he planned to take his inspiration coming from “Breaking the Waves,” considered by many critics as his masterpiece. This particular time, he said, he plans to take a less literal in addition to “more abstract” approach, using brand new laser-based diamond cutting technology.

“I desire the idea will take less than all 5 years,” he said. After all, there are still 12 films more to go.